Silk City under fire

Muna Al-Fuzai

The Silk City is supposed to be a development project that is needed by Kuwait, but it seems that this project will not be implemented soon, unfortunately. I believe that Kuwait needs such projects to have partnerships with major countries such as China. Last week, the finance committee of the National Assembly rejected the project and a number of MPs presented several reasons for their reservations.

Some of the MPs said the document that was submitted to the committee was not enough. It was seen as a mere vision and does not constitute an integrated development project. Some said it is not right for members of the planning committee to have a connection or interest in the project. I can’t confirm or deny this statement, however, but I think every project should have expert members, otherwise they will not advocate it. Some MPs had concerns and fears that this project will facilitate the entry of liquor in Kuwait, which they see as contrary to the constitution, sharia and traditions of the society.

The important thing is that the phrase “no” has been repeated by many MPs for various reasons, which made some citizens wonder about this attack and not giving sponsors more time for reviewing the remarks before this media campaign against the project and stirring public opinion, who do not know what is going on in the corridors of politics.

As a citizen, a voter and a journalist, I wonder whether the project is intended as a personal attack against the main parties in the project – the first of which is First Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and the technical team members. I trust that they have decent ethics, experience and integrity, so I wonder why this strong media attack.
The economic initiative will revive transit trade because of the geographical nature of Kuwait’s participation in the Silk Road project that reflects the vision of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah to turn Kuwait into a financial, commercial and international center. Compatibility between Kuwait’s 2035 vision and the initiative of China to revive the Silk Road and establish a vital commercial area serving the world’s countries by land and sea will contribute to the prosperity of the world economy.

If there is a big “no” towards a single project such as Silk City, which can still be discussed and its gaps addressed, what about other “dangerous” and serious grievances in the society? For example, stealing public funds is forbidden by law and socially unacceptable. Don’t we need all these “noes” and a strong attack from the deputies of the National Assembly over the infringement of even one inch of land of the country or millions of Kuwaiti dinars looted from the people and the country?

I am surprised by the fact that the situation remains as if accepting the mistake is something that we must deal with. I wonder how we accept the deterioration of our educational situation, the health and administrative decline, the daily difficulties we suffer due to the broken streets, the imbalance in the population structure and wasta. A youth currently studying at university does not know how to build himself after graduating and what will his future be after 20 or 30 years.

People in Kuwait are talking and complaining about the situation, but it does not seem anyone is listening. What can we do? What we call for is a legitimate demand. I believe that Kuwait needs investments in huge projects. Kuwait and China were the first countries in the world to sign a cooperation and partnership agreement in the Chinese project.

I hope to give this project a new opportunity away from media statements that distorted the project and hurt its members, whose expertise cannot be questioned. I agree with the absolute right of all deputies to say “no” to the Silk City project. It is their legitimate right. This is their role, and we cannot argue with that. But in return we have the right to ask a question about not saying “no” to other problems.

By Muna Al-Fuzai

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